Free Trade Agreement Us And Philippines

MANILA — The United States and the Philippines plan to announce the start of their free trade negotiations by next month, as the two allies sought to strengthen economic relations amid uncertainty over security relations. Lopez, however, said a trade deal with the United States, Manila`s former colonial power, will not damage relations with Beijing. “We have pursued this policy that [the] Philippines are friends with everyone and are not hostile to anyone,” Lopez said. Ebb Hinchliffe, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham), told Philippine media late last week that U.S. trade agents would consider waterproofing a free trade agreement with the Philippines ahead of proposed trade deals with the U.K. and Vietnam. It is time to start a public discussion on the feasibility of such an agreement, its benefits and the reciprocal commitments demanded by the Philippines. The economy, in particular, has not been as involved in the process so far. They will be the main beneficiary, but it may also require them to make some adjustments to deal with increasing competition as the United States tries to ease what it sees as a restriction on U.S. business.

This is essential because, beyond tariffs, a free trade agreement is expected to cover services, investment restrictions, including foreign justice, IPRs, public procurement, technical barriers and competition policy. Hinchliffe said that from the start of trade negotiations, the signing of the free trade agreement “would not last very long.” Under Trump, the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment agreement and unbundled the North American free trade agreement through separate negotiations with Canada and Mexico. The recent deal with Ottawa is widely seen as a victory for Trump, who wants to start future trade talks with Japan. In addition, in recent years, the Philippines has taken a series of market-opening measures in different sectors, improved its environment for protecting and enforcing intellectual property, and launched a public debate on reforming the country`s constitution to allow for significant foreign investment in certain sectors. The previous Philippine government led by President Aquino had publicly expressed interest in joining the TPP and, with the support of the U.S. House and USAID, had established a monitoring audit in which areas where further reforms would be needed if Manila joined the agreement were established. Manila seems ready for such a negotiation. “This is just the beginning and it will take time, maybe a year or two,” Romualdez said, adding that the Philippines would have a trade surplus of $5.4 billion in 2016 with the United States, one of the country`s main trading partners. However, Asian governments have cautiously approached possible trade negotiations with the Trump administration. The U.S. withdrawal from the TPP, threats to withdraw from the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement, and a series of heterodox proposals in NAFTA negotiations have left foreign governments in limbo for the opening of negotiations with Washington. U.S.

trade in goods and services with the Philippines was estimated at $30.6 billion in 2019. Exports were $12.1 billion; Imports amounted to $18.5 billion. The trade deficit in goods and services with the Philippines was $6.4 billion in 2019. Lopez said he planned to drag shoes and clothing as duty-free as part of the free trade agreement. Manila aims to revive the country`s apparel industry, which was hit in 1995 by the abandonment of a quota system guaranteeing a Philippine export market.